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Unemployment Figures Support Skills Concerns

The just released Household Labour Force Survey figures support EMA Central’s call for Government to recognise the skills shortage struggle employers around the country are facing.

The figures show that despite rising immigration increasing the labour supply by 0.5%, the job market grew, to a point where 66.4% of working age New Zealanders now participate in the workforce – the highest rate since 1987.

Employers & Manufacturers Association Central chief executive Paul Winter says it is clear the workers coming to New Zealand are the ones the country needs to boost its growth and get businesses working at capacity.

“We need skilled workers now. In fact, some companies within the EMA Central region needed them yesterday!

“EMA Central applauds the Government’s recent immigration policy softening and hopes to see more of it, especially for workers in high growth areas,” Mr Winter says.

The other significant figure to come out of the Survey was the rise in the unemployment figure to 5.4%, which serves as a timely reminder to Government that New Zealand is operating in a tough global marketplace.

This is the time to invest in building the skills of our people, and not raise business compliance costs, or reward ourselves with greater Government handouts, Mr Winter says.


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